Chichester fire deemed accidental according to chief

  • Loudon firefighters open the roof at a second alarm fire at 195 Canterbury Road in Chichester on Wednesday. Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • A Concord firefighter re-enters a house fire at 195 Canterbury Road, Chichester, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. —Courtesy of Jay Heath

  • LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff—

  • LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff—

  • LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff—

Monitor staff
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A two-alarm fire that left a single-family home in Chichester uninhabitable Wednesday was started accidentally, officials said.

Crews responded to the home at 195 Canterbury Road about 6:15 a.m., to find heavy flames and smoke pouring from the structure. Chichester Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Cole said the occupant of the home had already evacuated by the time crews arrived.

“Fortunately, the occupant was already up and noticed the fire before it got too bad for him to get out,” he said.

Cole said the fire ripped through the interior of the home, affecting some rooms more than others.

“It’s a good example of why you should sleep with your bedroom door closed,” he said. “The rooms that had doors closed had a lot less damage.”

Chichester fire Chief Alan Quimby said it took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the flames, though crews remained at the scene until early Wednesday afternoon to help a man salvage belongings from the wreckage.

“We can’t rule exactly what the cause of the fire was yet, but it was accidental and not suspicious,” he said.

Crews from Chichester, Concord and several surrounding towns responded to the fire.

American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers said they were assisting the inhabitant of the home in finding a shelter, food and clothing. Public records show the home is owned by Thomas Keneally.

(Leah Willingham can be reached at 369-3322, lwillingham@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @LeahMWillingham.)